W.Va. – West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) in Wheeling will host the eighth
program of the Fort Henry Commemoration Speaker Series with a walking tour of the sites and recount of the events of
the first siege of Fort Henry. The “walk and talk” will feature local
historians Alan Fitzpatrick and Joe Roxby. It will begin at the Capitol
Theatre, 1015 Main Street on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at
speaker series is observing the 240th anniversary year of the first siege of
Fort Henry and the 235th anniversary of the second siege. The program is free
and open to the public. The walking
tour will kick off three days of activities commemorating Fort Henry over Labor
and raised in Canada, Alan Fitzpatrick has resided in West Virginia since 1973.
After graduating from Kent State University with a degree in psychology, he was
employed at the West Virginia Penitentiary as a classifications counselor.
Since then, he has made the Wheeling area his home and operated a retail carpet
business for 33 years before retiring. With a lifelong interest in the history
of the Ohio Valley frontier, Alan was a founding member of Fort Henry Days, a
yearly living-history commemoration and re-enactment of the 1782 siege of Fort
Henry, the last battle of the American Revolution. Fitzpatrick has written four
non-fiction early-American history books about the conflict between Native
Americans and colonials during the tumultuous period of the late 1700s.
Roxby is a 1971 graduate of Wheeling Central Catholic High School,
and earned a degree in history in 1975 from West Liberty State College. Roxby
retired from the Wheeling Police Department as a lieutenant in December 2003. A
noted local frontier historian, Roxby is a staff writer for the magazine Precision
Shooting and has written for Tactical Shooter, The Accurate Rifle,
Outdoor Magazine and local newspapers. He is the co-author of the book The
Heroic Age, Tales of Wheeling’s Frontier Era and a book of short stories
titled Lost Legends of Fort Henry. He also has worked on the screenplay
for a proposed film about local legend Betty Zane titled Betty Zane:
Legend of Fort Henry. Roxby is a past president for Fort Henry Days
Living History, and was elected magistrate of Ohio County in 2008.
On Friday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m., the Wheeling Chapter,
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Fort Henry Chapter, Sons of
the American Revolution (SAR) will conduct a memorial service at the DAR
Foreman’s Massacre monument located at 21st Street in McMechen. Captain William
Foreman and his detachment of 20 Hampshire County militiamen were sent to
reinforce Fort Henry during the first siege. They were massacred by Native
American warriors in a surprise attack on Sept. 28, 1777 at the Narrows of the
Ohio River near McMechen.
On Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3, Fort Henry
Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Site One in Oglebay Park. Betty
Zane’s heroic run to retrieve gun powder for Fort Henry will be reenacted,
marking the 235th anniversary of the second siege.
yearlong program is co-hosted by the Wheeling Chapter, DAR and the Fort Henry
Chapter, SAR and sponsored by Wheeling Heritage.
more information about WVIH, contact Debbie Jones, site manager, at (304)
238-1300 or Deborah.J.Jones@wv.gov.
For information about the speaker series and other activities, visit www.fthenrysar.org.
Virginia Independence Hall has been on the National Register of Historic Places
(NRHP) since 1970. It was originally built as a federal custom house in 1859,
served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the
spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861
to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for
a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by
the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and
assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is
open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, except for major
holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in
West Virginia Division of Culture and History is proud to be able to present
its programs at no charge to the public but without a solution to the state’s
budget situation, this could be the last year that programs of this type could
be offered. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, is an agency
within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin,
cabinet secretary. It brings together the past, present and future through
programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic
preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs,
events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org.
The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action